NSHE Notes
by Chancellor Dan Klaich

January 29, 2016

Below is a report to the public by Board of Regents Chairman Rick Trachok summarizing discussions and actions taken at a recent meeting in Las Vegas. If you would like to receive notifications for upcoming meetings, please subscribe to our email list and select Board of Regents Meeting Agendas.

Highlights of the
January 22 Board of Regents Special Meeting
Last Friday, the Board of Regents held a workshop to discuss the role of the Board and to examine issues related to strategic policy decisions. This public meeting provided a crucial opportunity for higher education officials, campus leaders, student leaders, and the public to discuss trends and best practices in higher education, consider our ongoing challenges, and to brainstorm possible policy changes.
The following are discussion points from the meeting regarding NSHE priorities for the budget, students, and the board.
Biennial Budget Enhancements
The upcoming 2017 Legislative Session will be an important period for NSHE in order to maintain our forward momentum when it comes to student success and economic development. Building a New Nevada will take an ongoing investment in higher education to strengthen college budgets, implement cutting-edge workforce development programs, and push our universities to Carnegie Research University Very High (RU/VH) status. To meet this responsibility, the Board directed staff to prepare a draft budget for the March Board meeting to include the following items:
  • Seek enhancement of faculty and staff compensation.
  • Strengthen funding for community colleges by requesting an increase to the weights for the student credit hours in career and technical courses.
  • Continue funding the Workforce Innovation for a New Nevada (WINN) Fund in the Governor's Office of Economic Development.
  • Request permanent funding for the highly successful Silver State Opportunity Grant pilot program.
  • Create a new fund to increase educational capacity at all NSHE institutions to directly align with regional needs and economies. The fund will also support UNLV and UNR to achieve top tier status and DRI to help solve critical issues such as drought response and water resource management. Details for this new investment fund will be presented at the Board of Regents March meeting. 
  • Develop a common template for use by the NSHE presidents to respond to the Board of Regents' direction to show administrative efficiencies, reallocating those savings to the classrooms.

Student Driven
NSHE's success lies not only in our facilities and technological capabilities, but more important, in our students, faculty and staff. They are the human capital that imagine, create and drive our state's economic engine.  The Board directed staff to:
  • Present a plan, budget, and time frame for implementation of a common registration platform at the March Board meeting.
  • Examine space utilization and more creative use of all campus facilities with a report to be presented at the March Board meeting.
  • Present information on a common application for NSHE institutions at the June Board meeting.
  • Present a review at the June Board meeting of the Transfer and Articulation audit currently being performed by System Administration to insure the NSHE institutions comply with existing policies; and recommend ways to strengthen those policies. 
  • Present a policy to the Board eliminating the fee for electronic transfer of student transcripts between NSHE institutions at the June Board meeting.
  • Examine issues relating to transfer and articulation among NSHE institutions, based on information to be presented to the Board's Academic, Research, and Student Affairs Committee as part of the formal Transfer and Articulation audit currently being performed, at the June Board meeting.
Board of Regents Self Assessment
As the elected policymakers charged with oversight of Nevada's public higher education system, the Board of Regents must also continue to evolve to best serve the needs of a rapidly changing 21st century organization.  After a review of its current policies and the best national practices for governing boards, the Board directed staff to develop a self-assessment policy for the Board of Regents, taking into consideration legal constraints and requirements, such as the Open Meeting Law and Public Records Law, as well as accreditation requirements for discussion and possible action at the June 2016 Board meeting.